DeWitt Shows Their Strength in Big Win Over Lakeshore

 Already the last game of the regular season.  DeWitt comes in 5-0 and tied for first in division 3 in the state outscoring their opponents 247-44.  Stevensville Lakeshore comes in 4-1 ranked 10th in the state in division 3 with their only loss coming from a 12-15 loss to Portage Northern in week 1 with them still outscoring their opponents 120-54. DeWitt has been strong on their passing offense with 1,400 yards of passing offense with 21 touchdowns and 900 yards rushing with 11 touchdowns.  Stevensville Lakeshore comes into the game with almost all of their offense coming in each week on the ground with only less than 10 passes attempted each game.  This is one of DeWitt’s highest ranked opponents so far this season.  With DeWitt having home field advantage and more fans allowed at the game this could make for a very high energy game.  Only 48 minutes of play will tell whether both teams end the season 5-1 or if DeWitt goes undefeated leaving the Lancers at 4-2.

DeWitt wins another coin toss this week and once again defers until the second half.  Lakeshore unfortunately is intercepted on the first play of the game by Grant Uyl turning the ball over to DeWitt.  DeWitt scores after just 6 plays on a 4-yard run by Grant Uyl to go up 7-0.

After a penalty on their first play, the Lancers get pushed to a first and 15 on their own 37.  They only manage 5 yards before having to punt on a fourth and ten.  DeWitt takes over with a first and ten on their own 21.  DeWitt’s drive is plagued by penalties, but they still manage to move the ball 79 yards in 8 plays to score on a 22-yard pass from Taylor Holtz to Tommy McIntosh to go up 14-0 after the extra point by Nicholas Flegler is good. 

After a penalty by DeWitt on the kickoff return Lakeshore starts with a first and 5 on their own 25.  The Lancers go 60 yard in the drive before stalling out on the DeWitt 22-yard line.  On a fourth and ten they attempt field goal, but the kick goes wide left with only 48 seconds left in the first quarter. 

DeWitt sustains a long drive going 80 yards on 12 plays to score yet again on a one-yard run by Bryce Debri with 7:47 left in the half.  Nicholas Flegler tacks on another extra point to put the Panthers up 21-0.  Lakeshore goes three and out and punts the ball back to the Panthers.  In rare fashion the Panthers also fail to get a first down and are forced to punt the ball back to the Lancers with 4:39 left in the half.

The Lancers have one of their longest drives of the game getting all the way down to the DeWitt 19 before being intercepted again on a second and two with only 35 seconds left in the half.  After two quick first downs DeWitt returns the favor by being intercepted right at the end of the half.  This is Tyler Holtz’s only interception thrown so far this year.  This leaves the score at 21-0.  This is DeWitt’s lowest scoring first halves since only scoring 10 points in the first half against Portland in week 1.

DeWitt has the first possession of the second half an drives 80 yards in 11 plays to score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Tyler Holtz.  There is a bad snap on the extra point attempt and DeWitt tries to run it in, but comes up just short to leave the score at 27-0.  The Lancers go three and out with the pass on third and 7 almost picked off.  After the punt DeWitt goes 68 yards in 11 plays to score again on a 14-yard pass from Tyler Holtz to Tommy McIntosh.  This time the extra point try is good and DeWitt goes up 34-0 with just over 2 minutes left in the third quarter.  Both teams trade punts after three and outs.  The Lancers end up getting sacked in their own endzone on a third and 17 along with an intentional grounding call for a safety and a kickoff far back on their own side of the field.  With the score now 36-0 there is now a running clock with 9:20 left in the game.  This is the fifth straight game that DeWitt has had a running clock in their game.

DeWitt goes drives from the Lancer’s 45 yard, actually more after a holding penalty, including a 35 yard run by Andrew Debri to score on a 15-yard run by Connor McKean with seven minutes left in the game to now put them up 43-0.  Lakeshore answers back with their own long drive of 90 yards in 10 plays to score on a 9-yard pass from JJ Bushu to Brandon Hodder with only 48 seconds left in the game.  This is the only touchdown scored against the Panthers this season from a team other than Grand Ledge. DeWitt takes a knee on third and 16 after a bad snap on the second down loses them ten yards. 

DeWitt had 412 yards on the game with 185 yards passing and 233 on the ground.  Lakeshore had only 163 yards of offense in the game with only 61 yards passing and 163 on the ground.  Up until midway through the fourth quarter they only had 85 yards rushing, a season low for them.  The Panthers averaged 6.9 yards per play while the Lancers averaged only 3.5.  The Lancers had two interceptions in the game and DeWitt had one for the only turnovers in the game.  Both teams were plagued by penalties in this game with DeWitt having 11 for 79 yards and Lakeshore having 5 for 57 yards.

The Panthers head to the first round of the playoffs with home field advantage and an undefeated record of 6-0 on this COVID shortened season.  The Lancers end with a record of 4-2 with probably a home field advantage as well.  Both teams will await the announcement on Sunday to see who they will be facing next week in the first round of the playoffs.